This month marks a full year since I’ve been on a plane. A whole year – wow! Prior to the pandemic, the most I had gone without stepping foot on a plane in my adult life was three to four weeks. As you can tell, I’ve been playing it very safe. My wife, son, daughter and I have only spent two nights away from home since March and that was in a villa at the Lido House in Newport Beach back in September.
However, I just learned about a new mobile hotel company called Cabana that sounds pretty darn good and I would definitely be checking them out if I was traveling without kids. But these days, I don’t travel without them so I’m not writing about this from experience. However, I thought this was a great idea to share.
It’s not that Cabana doesn’t like kids, it’s because the company’s plush converted camper vans only fit two people while driving and four when parked.
Currently, they’re in two markets: Seattle and Los Angeles, which they just launched this past week. They do plan on expanding over the next year into cities like San Francisco, Denver, San Diego and more.
What makes Cabana such a great idea during COVID-19 is that their vans are fully self-contained and don’t require guests to remain tethered to conventional hook-ups for necessities like water and power. They provide the benefit of days of off-grid use to make your journey more flexible and easier-to-use than traditional RVs and Camper Vans. It’s also a touchless experience.
Just download their app, book a van, locate it and then walk up to it and unlock it. In the app, there’s a “key” tab from the menu at the bottom of the page, which will “unlock” and the physical key will be inside the glove box. It’s a totally contactless check-in process, which seems everyone wants these days. I know I do.
Cabana sounds like a dream for couples that want to travel out west but don’t want to deal with hotels, public bathrooms or oversized RVs that require reservations and can only be parked in certain places. With Cabana, it really takes some of the hassle and stress out of travel these days. Below, find important information that I think every customer would want to know.
What you need to know about Cabana
Similar to a hotel, they offer a standard check-in time of 3pm and checkout is at 11am. And just like with a rental car, you need to return the Cabana with a full tank of gas (87 Octane unleaded) or they will charge you $4.50 per gallon, plus a $12 admin fee.
Cabana costs vary by the time of year, but you can usually find one for $200 per night before taxes. This includes insurance, cleaning, and booking fees. FYI: The vans with kitchens are slightly more expensive than the vans without.
How many miles are included in my reservation?
Included in your booking price is 200 miles for the first night, and 100 miles for each subsequent night. Any mileage over the total allowed for the trip is charged at $0.35 per mile.
You have to be 25 years old to drive them and need to have a valid US or international driver’s license.
You don’t need to park in an RV park as you can park your Cabana anywhere it is legal to park. A Cabana van is only a few inches longer than an average full-size SUV and can fit any uncovered parking space made for larger passenger vehicles.
Each Cabana has an 8″ memory foam short Queen mattress and comes with two firm and two soft pillows.
Using the hot water
To use hot water on the Cabana, make sure to first turn on the power and wait about 4-5 minutes before turning on the water. The heater and hot water will not turn on if the tank is less than one-quarter full, so make sure that you keep enough gas in the tank for both. Remember that you will want to make sure the van is parked on a relatively level spot as well to ensure proper water drainage in the shower.
What is the shower floor made from?
The shower floor, table, and step are made from bamboo, meeting Cabana’s commitment to building their vans with sustainably sourced products. They use Beekman 1802 all natural shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
What kind of toilet paper is in the van?
It’s bamboo toilet paper that is more sustainable than other TPs, and sourced from local Seattle startup, Cloud Paper.
Using the TV
It is a smart TV. The remote can be found in the basket on the wall next to the headboard of the bed. You can sign in and out of your own streaming accounts, and the TV has a signal through an ethernet cable attached to the 5G WiFi hotspot.
What type of heater does the van have?
The heater is designed to run on a small amount of fuel from the vehicle’s fuel tank. When turned on, it provides heat until the room reaches the temperature you set with the thermostat
What type of refrigerator does the van have?
It has a 30 liter refrigerator typically seen in yachts and watercrafts.
What type of coffee machine is in the van?
The coffee machine uses single serving k-cups similar to Keurig brand machines and they partnered with Storyville Coffee to bring you Seattle’s #1 coffee in single serving pods. They source only from the top 2% of beans throughout the world.
What are the dimensions of the storage spaces?
Wardrobe: 17.5d (front of safe to door) x 28h (top of safe to bottom of hanger rod) x 13.5w Sliding cabinets: 2 sliding cabinets that fit overhead cabin bags perfectly (22.5d x 12.5h x 15w) Rear storage: 26d x 19w x 31h. There is an additional larger space available for storage but the dimensions will depend on which add-ons you have selected with your room.
Small-ish sized pets are allowed for an additional fee.